Newfound sulfur-containing metabolite inhibits enzyme that raises blood pressure

May 26, 2015

Toward understanding asparagus’ ability to lower blood pressure

RIKEN CSRS research group used targeted analysis for sulfur-containing metabolites known as “S-omics” to comprehensively screen sulfur-containing metabolites in 47 freeze-dried plant samples. In asparagus, they elucidated a new S-metabolite, named asparaptine, with inhibitory activity for the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which catalyzes angiotensin I to angiotensin II in the rennin−angiotensin system, and plays a major role in hypertension.

ACE inhibitory activity testing showed that the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for asparaptine was 113 μM and that conjugated asparagusic acid is essential to inhibition. Quantitative tests determined the amount of asparaptine in asparagus is 251 mg/kg fresh weight.

Further research to reveal the contribution of asparaptine is likely to pave the way for asparagus in the development of health foods and in medicines. These findings also demonstrate that S-omics could be a significant method to explore natural compound products with beneficial activity when used in pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals.


Original article
Journal of Natural Products doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00092
R. Nakabayashi, Z. Yang, T. Nishizawa, T. Mori, K. Saito,
"Top–down Targeted Metabolomics Reveals a Sulfur-containing Metabolite with Inhibitory Activity against Angiotensin-converting Enzyme in Asparagus officinalis".

Ryo Nakabayashi; Research Scientist
Kazuki Saito; Group Director
Metabolomics Research Group